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1. In this module, we’re continuing our work on critical thinking, and in particular, reading as a way of thinking. In the module, we focused on arguments from analogy, which argue that since two things are alike in a number of ways, probably they’re alike in some additional way. The watchmaker analogy, first authored by William Paley in the 18th Century is one of the most famous and influential examples of argument by analogy in Western literature. Please watch this video for an overview of the analogy. Many objections have been given to the argument over the years. Please review this document to read eight objections to the argument, along with Paley’s reply to them. Now that you’re familiar with an example of an analogy, and in particular, the objections that can be given to it, in your first post you’re going to make your own checklist, called “A checklist for analyzing arguments by analogy”. Think of 3-5 criteria that one should always use when evaluating the strength of an argument by analogy. As a guide, use the more general “checklist for evaluating an argument” at the end of this week’s chapter (pg 106, 8/e). Cite your sources if your criteria are influenced by any outside resources. This is due Wednesday by 5pm. 2-3 paragraphs is enough.

2. In the third and final reply, you’ll provide two objections to the watchmaker analogy, using the newly created checklist. In order to ensure that everyone gets a peer-reviewed reply, and that no student gets many, In your second post simply “claim” a thread for yourself. You can do this simply by typing “Hi, Robert. This is interesting, and I’ll reply to your post by the end of the week”. Of course, if someone else has already “claimed” a thread, then please choose another. This strategy will guarantee that no two students are working to peer review the same essay. Please do this step as soon as possible, but no later than Friday at 5pm.

3. In your third post, do two things. Use the other student’s checklist to provide one objections to the watchmaker analogy. Then, use a criteria that is on your list, but not the other student’s list, to provide another objection. Briefly explain how each objection is an instance of the criteria found on the checklist. Cite your sources if your objections are influenced by any outside resources. This is due by Sunday at 5pm.

4. Write a precis. A precis is a short description of a reading assignment, much like a book report. It should not contain any interpretation, examples, or objections. It should be limited simply to outlining the positions and arguments as they are found in the reading. Precis should be between 250-300 words (about a page), and should be typed, double spaced, 12pt font, or equivalent. To earn credit, it should be related to the chapter that we read for that module , and turned in during the week that we discuss and cover that chapter in class. It is of no value to write a precis after we have talked about it in class, so late precis will not be accepted for credit.

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